Sell Network Security As A Service To Reach More Customers
By Jay McCall
As network security threats continue to grow and become more complex, cloud-based security solutions are playing a growing role in helping VARs and MSPs protect their customers.
When you look at some of the cloud-related headlines and hear about companies such as Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft having cloud outages and/or coming under attack from white hat hackers (i.e. those who hack a company’s cyber defenses for the altruistic purpose of helping the company solve its security problems) as well as their unethical counterparts, the cloud may seem like the last place where you’d want to move your customers’ security resources. However, when you look at research from the leading security research firms and network security experts, a different picture emerges.
Over the past few years the SANS Institute, a securityfocused cooperative research and education organization that reaches more than 165,000 security professionals around the world, worked with a consortium of U.S. and international agencies to develop what’s known as the Critical Security Controls (CSC). This list of security controls focuses on prioritizing security functions that are effective against the latest advanced targeted threats, with an emphasis on providing best practices for defending against the threats. The U.S. State Department reported that, by following the top 20 controls outlined in the CSC, it was able to reduce its measured security risk by more than 94 percent. “The Defence Signals Directorate [DSD] in Australia estimates that 85 percent of targeted attacks could be mitigated by implementing the top 4 security controls in the SANS Top 20 list of CSC,” says Dr. Alistair Forbes, general manager at GFI MAX. Two of the four are patching operating systems and applications to ensure that vulnerabilities are eliminated. Implementation of AV (antivirus) software is a further security protection. “Both of these types of solutions require continuous updating — set it and forget it is not effective — and they are therefore both wellsuited to being sold as a monthly service,” says Forbes.